The Continuing Transformation of Dan Malloy – Collective Bargaining is so Over-rated

Governor Dannel Malloy has become the first governor (certainly the first Democratic governor) to propose limiting, undoing or undermining Connecticut’s thirty-six year old Teacher Negotiation Act.

There is simply no doubt about it.  American politicians, in state after state, are pandering to the segment of voters who are calling for an end to unions and the “elimination” of public employees.

The name of the game is who can be more condescending to teachers, state employees and other public servants who do little more than sit around – getting fat, rich and  happy at the public trough.

And above all else – who can do more to repeal or limit collective bargaining rights.

Republican Governor Scott Walker (Wisconsin) certainly earned that “poster boy of the year” award when he successfully repealed collective bargaining rights for Wisconsin’s public employees. [Although Wisconsin voters are now engaged in a very serious effort to recall (un-elect) Walker]

Republican Governor John Kasich (Ohio) tried his best when he signed Senate Bill #5 into law repealing collective bargaining rights for employees, but alas Ohio voters passed a referendum repealing Senate Bill #5 by a 2-1 margin.

Republican Governor Mitch Daniels (Indiana) got to use an Executive Order to repeal collective bargaining rights for the remaining state employees who had them in Indiana.

Republican Governor Butch Otter (Idaho) actually had to sign a bill to repeal collective bargaining for teachers in his state.

Republican Governor Mary Fallin (Oklahoma) was able to sign into law a bill repealing the right of employees to collectively bargain in cities with populations over 35,000.

And Republican Governor Bill Haslam (Tennessee) also used 2011 to successfully take away collective bargaining for teachers.

Laws limiting or repealing collective bargaining also became law in thanks to Republican Governor Jan Brewer (Arizona), Republican Governor Rick Snyder (Michigan), Republican Governor Gary Herbert (Utah) and Republican Governor Matt Mead (Wyoming).

Like lemmings, even a couple of Democratic governors, got into the act including our neighbor in to the north in Massachusetts.

Here in Connecticut, Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy mostly stayed out of the public anti-union stampede choosing instead to attended a few labor events, speak at an anti-Walker rally at the State Capitol and keep his efforts to demonize state employees within the confines of his budget and the Malloy/SEBAC negotiations.

However, this year Malloy changed direction and in February 2012 proposed the most anti-collective bargaining bill since the State Employee Relations Act was adopted in 1975 and the Teacher Negotiation Act was adopted in 1976.

While there has been lots of talk about teacher tenure and evaluations, Governor Malloy tends to skip over some of the finer details contained in his “Education Reform” bill.

Malloy’s plan actually outlaws collective bargaining for segment of public employees.

Section 18 of his bill creates that “Commissioner’s Network” and allows the Education Commissioner to take over up to 25 low-performing Connecticut schools and run them himself or turn them over to a 3rd party including potentially a private company.

Although his plan is probably illegal, the bill requires that all teachers and administrators in schools that the Commissioner of Education decides to take over must be immediately laid off (although apparently they can re-apply for their jobs).

But what is even more incredible is that the bill mandates that the Connecticut Teacher Negotiation Act does not cover the teachers and administrators in the Commissioner’s Network schools.

Despite the fact that they would continue to be public employees, be paid for with public funds and be teaching in a public school, Dan Malloy’s bill prevents these public employees from the rights and protections required under Connecticut’s collective bargaining law.

The irony is that since all of the “Commissioner’s Network” schools would be in urban areas with overwhelming minority populations, the impact of Malloy’s approach is that teachers in suburban and white communities would continue to have the full rights and protections provided by the Connecticut’s Teacher Negotiation Act – it is just those who are teaching in the poor, minority districts that would lose their basic labor rights.

In addition to the Commissioner’s Network schools, Malloy’s bill also restricts collective bargaining rights for teachers working at any new charter schools.  After hearing over and over and over again that Connecticut’s charter schools are PUBLIC charter schools, Malloy’s “education reform” bill allows Commissioner Stefan Pryor and the State Board of Education to authorize new charter schools, provides each of them with a start-up grant of $500,000 in public funds and then goes on to require that if the teacher’s decide to join a union they only have the right to negotiate over a limited number of issues rather than the broader range of subjects are included in Connecticut collective bargaining laws.

Maybe Governor Walker, Governor Brewer and Governor Malloy can host a panel at the next National Governor’s Association Meeting about the advantages associated with repealing collective bargaining rights.

  • sharewhut

    ” Here in Connecticut, Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy mostly stayed out
    of the anti-union stampede and even attended a few labor events and
    spoke at an anti-Walker rally at the State Capitol.”
    Oh, I’m sorry. Were you out of state all summer while he did his darnedest to wipe the state employee out? Including using the threat of legislation eliminating collective bargaining for state employees?
    This isn’t changing tack, rather a continuation & expansion on what he started when he beat the rank and file into submission with the union ‘leadership’ caddies handing him the right clubs…

    • jonpelto

      No good point —- I thought transformation sounded better than continuation — even though they both end with tion… but I guess I’d better go change that once false sentence 🙂

    • sharewhut

       And it’s the very same union ‘leaders’ helping him now.
      Instead of sticking up for their members and saying “Stuff You!, see you in 2 years- NOT!!!!” and fighting to hold onto things, these ‘leaders’ crawl to there membership saying “Oh my! It could be so much worse if we don’t bow (bend?) down now and give him what he want’s!”

      • sharewhut

         Correct response to Governor by the unions last summer should have been-“Our deal is guaranteed through 2015, how ’bout yours?”
         Then the same fact should have been emphasized to state legislators.

    • jonpelto

      “Here in Connecticut, Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy mostly stayed out of the public anti-union stampede choosing instead to attended a few labor events, speak at an anti-Walker rally at the State Capitol and keep his efforts to demonize state employees within the confines of his budget and the Malloy/SEBAC negotiations.”

      • sharewhut

        Good add on. But perhaps while limiting his vocal demonizing directly to state employees, he was showing his hand in his willingness to throw municipal workers aside by using them as pawns in ‘Plan B’.

  • Interesting to see that some people think that collective bargaining for state employees is a right. Personally, I take it to be a privelidge and not a right.

    And I take this position in spite of the fact that I’m a state employee. Why? Because I actually look at all this garbage as a taxpayer first, state employee last.

    • jonpelto

      Personally I think, in a Democratic society, the right to join together to bargain about the value of one’s labor is a right not a privilege. That is one of the things that is supposed to set us apart as a country – our recognition that people have rights as individuals, as groups and as societies.
      In addition, that government does not come along and take away people’s rights or even privileges on some type of whim and without a fair and open process.

      And I actually say that as a taxpayer – (I’m not a state employee) – if government can come along and take away or limit their rights in an inappropriate way – then government can come along and take away mine

      • Follow the Money

        “In addition, that government does not come along and take away people’s rights or even privileges on some type of whim without a fair and open process.”

        Unless, of course, that government is secretly a plutocracy masquerading as a democracy.

      • I agree with your point about joining together to bargain, but I tend to believe that public sector unions are a completly different animal than from the private sector unions.

        Whereas private sector unions more often than not have the best interests of their members in mind (The P&W labor unions come to mind), the public sector does not.
        @51a04bbd396c262c97b1ae0bfec78bfd:disqus 
        The private sector unions can see their membership shrink through loss of jobs, etc. unless they take action that is not only beneficial to their members but based in reality as well.

        The public sector unions has no such worries. They have guarenteed mebership and real no worry about loss of jobs.

        • jonpelto

          Thanks for weighing in.